ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Lawmakers, advocates and representatives from local animal organizations gathered at the Capitol Monday to push Governor Hochul to sign legislation aiming to end the so-called puppy mill pipeline. The group brought thousands of postcards to the governor’s office in the Capitol, urging her to sign the bill.
“This bill is going to make such a difference in the lives of animals in New York State,” said Libby Post, the Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation.
The legislation, which easily passed with sweeping bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly, would prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits at retail pet stores.
Advocates say these stores acquire animals from these problematic sources before selling them to the public, “All pet stores selling puppies, buy puppies from puppy mills,” said Bill Ketzer, the Senior Director of State Legislation for the Eastern Division of the ASPCA.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that around 10,000 puppy mills are in operation across the country, with around 2.6 million puppies from these facilities sold each year.
Pets coming from puppy mills can be susceptible to numerous health issues and other problems.
Post recently rescued a golden retriever from a puppy mill, where she had been constantly bred. She says the now 7-year-old would have been killed had she not been rescued, “She definitely has puppy mill PTSD, is the best way I can describe it. She’s got some behavioral issues, but she’s incredibly loving, she wants to be with us now, she trusts us now.”
The legislation also has the support of local animal organizations, including Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
“We really need to start banning these puppies who are coming from inhumane situations into New York pet stores,” said Ashley Jeffrey Bouck, the CEO of MHHS.
Inside the shelter, the dog adoption area is filled with dogs looking for good homes. Bouck says there are currently hundreds of animals in their care, with those numbers typically swelling during the busy summer months, when adoptions slow.
“We have plenty of loving animals here. Lots of pups and dogs that are looking for their forever home. We really would love if everyone would come down and open their homes to one of the animals here at the humane society,” she explained.
Advocates say there are plenty of reputable breeders to get a dog from, if you’re looking for a specific breed.
A representative from the Executive Chamber told News10 ABC that Governor Hochul is reviewing the legislation.